Tokyobling's Blog

Greeting the New Year – Asakusa

Posted in Japanese Traditions, Places by tokyobling on January 2, 2014

There were plenty of New Year’s parties and celebrations going on in Tokyo as the clock struck twelve, but the activity that drags most people out on the cold streets are the traditional shrine or temple visits of the new year! The tradition is called Hatsumode and I have been an avid fan since my first New Year’s in Japan, many years ago. Most people visit shrines but some people make a point of going to a temple instead, but in some places like Asakusa, you can visit both a temple and a shrine at almost the same time! I took these photos a few minutes before midnight, as I was in a hurry to visit a string of smaller and more familiar shrines in the area. There were already thousands of people lined up and there were squads of police all over the area to make sure the greeting of the new year went smoothly. Recently younger people have started meeting in the big Shibuya street crossing at midnight, much to the consternation of the local traffic police. Myself I prefer the more traditional new year’s celebrations, of shrines, charms, prayers and the good smell of the bonfires!

Asakusa is rapidly becoming the major sight seeing spot for domestic and foreign tourists alike, ever since the area was upgraded and the new lighting scheme of the temple and shrine buildings turned the entire area fashionably gorgeous. More photos of the celebrations to come!















9 Responses

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  1. amadl said, on January 2, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Love the atmosphere you caught in the pictures!
    And, happy new year 🙂


    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 4:22 am

      Thank you Amadl! I appreciate your comments and support, always! Happy new year to you too!


  2. sweffling said, on January 2, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    As always I so appreciate the vicarious delight you give us, in the ceremonies of Japan! Thank you and Happy New Year to you:)


  3. Terence S. Jones said, on January 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    great job! happy new year!


    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 4:27 am

      Thank you for the kind comment Terence! I appreciate it! Happy New Year to you too! (^-^)/


  4. Shelli@howsitgoingeh? said, on January 8, 2014 at 1:58 am

    Your night shots are always so amazing….


  5. yudhistira14 said, on March 16, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Amazing… I finally accomplished also visited Asakusa Temple


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